About this whole Black Lives Matter thing, understand that none of this is about actually making black lives better. If it was we would be calling for longer incarceration of people convicted of gun/violent crimes, not the lessening of those penalties and the releasing of criminals in to those very same black communities.
According to the Florida Parole Commission (FPC), in 2000, there was a 26.4% decrease in violent, gun-related crime compared to 1998. Florida’s “Index Crime” rate for 2000, which is based on a variety of different crimes, had dropped 18% from the previous year, and had reached its lowest level in 28 years. According to the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC), by 2004, violent gun crime rates had fallen 30% since 1998, and the Index Crime rate had reached the lowest in 34 years, despite a 16.8% increase in population during that time period. The Florida Parole Commission and Department of Corrections both acknowledged that these results were influenced by a multitude of crime prevention programs in addition to the 10-20-Life law, such as the Three-Strike Violent Felony Offender Act, the Habitual Juvenile Offender Accountability Act and “Operation T.H.U.G.S.” (“Taking Hoodlums Using Guns Seriously”), a program targeting felons with warrants for violent-crime and a violent history.
This year, criminal-justice reform has been high on the to-do list for state lawmakers. And it’s about time.
We commend Gov. Rick Scott for signing a bill that will bring a touch of humanity and common sense to the state’s courtrooms: The new law repeals Florida’s “10-20-Life” law — the guideline that now sets mandatory-minimum sentences for crimes involving guns.
On Wednesday, Gov. Scott signed Senate Bill 228 repealing the too-rigid sentencing mandate. It’s welcome recognition that the law removed judicial discretion in sentencing both hardcore offenders and young, more-naive offenders who might deserve a second chance.
A tip of the hat, too, goes to bill sponsors House Reps. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, and Neil Combee, R-Polk; and Sens. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, and Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park.
This is the first real reversal of the state’s tough-on-crime initiatives of the late 1990s, coming on the heels of several tourist murders and a booming homicide rate.
With a stroke of the governor’s pen, here’s what changes: The new law gives judges across the state flexibility when sentencing people convicted of gun-involved crimes. Under the 10-20-Life law, judges’ hands were tied and they had to hand down a 10-year sentence if someone displayed a gun and a 20-year sentence if someone fired a gun — including cases where the weapon was fired as a warning and not at an individual — and 25 years or more is someone were wounded. There were no exceptions; now there are.
“This is a major victory for common-sense sentencing reform in Florida,” Greg Newburn, state policy director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums said on Thursday.
It’s also a path away from arbitrary sentences that overcrowd our prisons. And it allows judges to be judges by giving them discretion to consider mitigating circumstances, not just a blank decision that may ruin a life — and there’s no denying that many of those lives have been black lives.
At least one of those killers would still be locked up IF 10-20-Life was a thing in Chicago…
Two brothers were charged Sunday in connection with the murder of Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four and cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade.
Derren Sorells, 22, and Darwin Sorells Jr., 26, both of Chicago, were each charged with both first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Both are documented gang members and on parole for previous gun charges, police said. Derren Sorells was released just two weeks ago and was wearing an electronic monitoring device.
The idea that less cops equal less crime and shorter sentencing equals better communities is laughable, but let’s watch and see how this plays out.
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